Talk show hosts have discussed this a lot lately, couples are looked down upon for simply not wanting marriage or children. You should never feel like your life has to be navigated for you or that you need these things to achieve happiness. It’s a touchy subject. You could go the way of explaining yourself every time or ignoring it but ultimately there will always be people who are curious and who don’t understand. It’s the same with anything out of what our society deems “normal”. Your decision is your own and my suggestion is just to make that known to the people around you.
If they can’t accept that, I’m sorry but you should never feel the need to explain yourself further. It is, after all, your life. Good luck xx
Like I regularly do, I was browsing the internet for information on marriage.
I came across all sorts of statistics and projections and information about what happens when you get married at certain ages. You know, like your chance for divorce, or how much money you’ll make depending on what age you got married, how far you go in your education, etc. etc. etc.
I realized that none of these factoids interested me. Statistics and trends take away my personal story. I don’t care that because I got married at 23 I have x% of getting divorced or that I’ll make $20,000 less a year because I didn’t wait until I was 30 before getting married. These facts don’t make up my story.
I want to make this a little more personal. So here’s a little about my story, all broken up…
Before I met my husband, I was used, damaged, dramatic. He helped bring a peace to my mind and my heart.
Before my husband met me, he never opened up for meaningful conversations, he didn’t even know they existed. For the first time he felt like someone was really interested and invested in his life.
We received a lot of judgment for going to college together, but being there together gave us both the confidence to grow both together and independently. We both left our marks at college in our own individual way.
When we got engaged, his mother cried (not tears of joy) and his parents’ suggestion to him was for us to spend some time apart.
The day we got married I finally felt like I was a part of his family. I finally felt accepted as a daughter.
We read books out loud together. We binge watch TV shows together. We make homemade pizza every Friday night and we drink root beer together every weekend. We are traveling to every US state together and have a plan to make Alaska our 50th state when we’re 50. We go for a walk almost every day to review our day and how we’re feeling. We always go to bed at the same time, together. Neither of us have a doubt that we’ll last forever. Because we will.
There are so many things to discuss here and yes, the concept of marriage is definitely in trouble. That is in large part why this blog was created. Unfortunately marriage rates have dropped and I have theories as to why that may be. In 1960 72% were married, only 15% had never been and as of 2011 51% were married and 28% never had been. There was a program discussed her and in the end, 49% of couples enrolled stayed married. Wow. Here are my theories, and yes of course there are many other reasons but here it is.
1. Marrying for the wrong reason. I think a large number of young marriages are based on something other than what we here would base our marriages on, for example “marring for the children”. I’ve seen a lot of young people marry in order to keep their relationship intact and not because the relationship is one worth keeping intact. This is so sad.
2. Now and then. We all know how different things were in the 1960s, so those stats I showed should definitely not surprise anyone. In the 40s-60s divorce was frowned upon, forcing couples to work through their differences whereas today divorce is not only easier but more socially acceptable. Women have different “roles” today and more of a voice, however the values and the importance of marriage has declined greatly. Marriage isn’t exactly taken seriously.
3. Pressure and ease? I think a lot of people feel pressured to marry because what else is the next step? College has gotten substantially more expensive and marriage benefits (at least where I live) are amazing! Not only that but pressure from our peers, whether it be obvious or not, is so real. We see the people around us “moving on with their lives” and around here that means graduating, marriage and babies. The fear of being alone haunts mostly women. And to give up on a marriage is just too easy this day in age. So we not only feel pressure to marry but we feel the ease of it as well, paying closer attention to our hearts and less to what our brain tells us.
As for the economy? Oh boy is it scary. But where I live people who are married are better off in this aspect.
All of this has been said time and time again but ultimately I won’t blame anything but those involved if my marriage were to ever fail. It would have everything to do with me and my husband. The truth is, it’s easy today to blame our failures on others, especially our spouse. We work to keep each other happy and our marriage healthy and that is marriage is hard work. It would be cruel of me to say that in failed marriages, the couples themselves are to blame, but isn’t that the truth.
You are very right in what you’ve said here but I don’t believe that all marriages will suffer or that marriage will cease to exist. Marriage, to those who hold it of high importance, is so much more than a piece of paper stating you’re joined together. I have faith in marriage and in love and in America, despite all that I discussed here today. Thank you for your message. xx
I’m not sure about society, but no one here has said that everyone does or should get married. In fact, I recently responded to an ask that told someone to please not get married if they don’t believe in it so it doesn’t further degrade its reputation. Marriage might not make everyone a better person, but the four wives on this blog have experienced a better life because of marriage. The reason we have this blog is to share our successes and struggles in hopes that we can better our own marriages and hopefully bring some light or at least human connection to others invested in a marriage. Maybe in 10 years marriage will be unpopular, but there’s no way I’d ever give up the love, growth, and bliss that I have found in my marriage, regardless of how popular or unpopular it is. I hope some day you can believe in it too, because for me, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever had.